BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts isn't an All-Star yet, but he could be before the week is out. The shortstop has raised his game across the board this season, and is one of five American League candidates on the Final Vote ballot.
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To cast your mobile vote for Bogaerts, text A1 to 89269.
Only 22, Bogaerts is trying to become Boston's youngest All-Star since Tony Conigliaro in 1967.
While the late Conigliaro of Swampscott, Mass., had the thrill of playing for his hometown team, Bogaerts grew up on the beautiful beaches of Aruba, dreaming of one day playing in the Majors.
In 2013, Bogaerts was a World Series champion just three weeks after he turned 21.
Now, he hopes to reach another major milestone early in his career.
"It would be big, to be honest," said Bogaerts. "That's something everyone would want to do at some point in their career. But I'm just trying to do my job out there, be a good teammate, help the team win as much as possible going into the All-Star break."
Bogaerts is hitting .302 with 18 doubles, three homers and 37 RBIs.
"He's been one of our most consistent players on both sides of the ball the entire year," said infielder/outfielder Brock Holt, Boston's lone All-Star so far, after being selected as a reserve. "He's been unbelievable both offensively and defensively. In my opinion, one of the best shortstops in baseball, so for him to get a chance to come would be awesome. He's 22 years old, he's still young. I'm sure he's going to have his fair share of All-Star Games. Yeah, I would love to have a teammate come along, and I think he's probably one of the more deserving players."
Offensively, Bogaerts has become far more consistent this season. Defensively, he's improved his range.
"I would hope that he gets some recognition for the first half he's had," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's been a very consistent performer and has grown a lot from a year ago -- both defensively and offensively. Whether or not that reflects or is acknowledged with an All-Star appearance, time will tell that one."
Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m.
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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.